We live in a digital world. As almost every human interaction has, or is on it’s way to being transformed into a digital one; I can’t help but notice the overlap between two seemingly opposed platforms, online dating and job hunting. The internet has ‘thrown the baby out with the bathwater’ so to speak in setting boundaries for our personal and professional lives so why not call it what it is and further blur the line between the personal and professional sides of life.
5 Things Online Dating and Job Hunting have in Common
1. Creating and maintaining an on-line profile.
Build the stage upon which you wish to perform and be judged, because you will be. In both worlds, every word counts. As an online dater and job hunter, I’ve clung into words and phrases in postings on both OKCupid and LinkedIn that I’ve recognized as mutual points of interest between my potential
mate career path and I, and have gone on to those words and phrases to search and build my cover letter empire atop. Words and phrases count.
2. The NEED to have an intriguing one-line opener.
Aside from wondering whether or not pickup lines would work with hiring managers, I have realized that in both venues a cheeky one-liner will stick out, for better or worse. Having the right one though, will get you in the door and into the interview chair. I think about it like this- my inbox is a nightmare, all I read are the subject lines of 80% of my emails. People that have (inboxes like mine)^3 read less. Make it count!
3. Falsifying facts and embellishing qualities to stand out
Because of the newfound need to keyword our lives and experiences, we embellish, play-up and sometimes falsify facets and facts of our every day selves to get a higher percentage ‘match’ rating for whatever the conquest at hand may be. Life in a digital space, by default, has a CNTRL + F feature, which makes it both appealing and terrifying. How do you transmute human experience into a rigid set of one word answers all while preserving the human experience? You don’t. It’s easy to get lost in the digital goo while trying to relay those, wibbily-wobbily humanistic parts of life like, open mindedness, thinking outside of the box, creativity and an ability to learn. Things that make for good peer to peer relationships, the things that come into existence only under the watchful eye of another mind.
Conversely, both platforms become a game. The web, as an open and free flow of information allows for a very convincing set of false facts, histories, resumes, career experiences, cover-letters and skills- the ‘fake it till you make it crowd.’ Catfish a provocative documentary style show on MTV exemplifies the online-dating version of this. If men and women are being ‘catfished’ in their personal lives, you have to wonder how much ‘catfishing’ is going on professionally.
4. Go ahead, stalk it out
Thanks to google, we can figure out whether or not Friday’s date has a criminal record or if Company X has corporate social responsibility initiatives. Take your time and stalk it out. See if online profiles match up! Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Are they really into what they say they’re into? Don’t feel guilty, stalk it out!
5. Extreme emotional suspense.
There’s a very special flavor of emotional suspense in the discovery of potentiality that stalking and over thinking creates. A cascade of emotions attached to the initial point of contact- whether it be a craigslist ad or a match.com posting, sparks a spiral of wondering just how you measure up to the competition. Downs in silence, ups in responses, it’s a maddening dance of desperation and hope.
Just 5 among many similarities between online dating and job hunting I’ve noticed. Take stock of your own emotions and see what skills can be an asset cross functionally between the two, for you! I bet there are a few, whether it be a cultivated zen like patience from online dating, or a learned ability to interview your interviewer from the job hunting. Whatever it be, use your skills to discover and seek what you want out of life!